Countdown from 11: Houston Rockets



PJD is a Minnesota Vikings blogger (poorly) at Purple Jesus Diaries who has made a terrible mistake by purchasing 11 tickets this spring to Minnesota Timberwolves games. These are his game recaps highlighting what may have been the worst mistake of his life, outside of cheering for Minnesota sports teams ...

I wanted to just start by giving an introduction and a little background on what I am hoping to do here. First, I typically only write daily about the Vikings and their face palm inducing behaviors over at Purple Jesus Diaries. I would thus encourage you that if you find any of these rambling Timberwolves posts entertaining and happen to also like listless football teams to check that web page out as well.

Second, I am a basketball fan, but don't really know one offensive set from another. Clearly, that's why I visit Canis Hoopus daily and read Stop N' Pop and Oceanary's posts that explode Phil Jackson's Pandora's Box of basketball wisdom to me. I am learning! Slowly. Most importantly though, I know I am a basketball fan for two particular reasons, both because of the 2003-2004 Western Conference Finals season. The first was the Thursday, April 8 2004 when the Wolves played Sacramento in a regular season game in which they won 94-86. I was at the Green Mill in Uptown and will never forget the camaraderie as everyone in the bar area huddled around the TVs cheering and going wild with ever made shot, knowing the Wolves HAD to win this game to keep pace with the Spurs to clinch the number one seed in the Western Conference. I had never seen the Twin Cities so invested in a sports team until that moment, and I knew I was hooked. It all culminated then in the second instance of Game Seven of the Western Conference Finals, more specifically Kevin Garnett's three point shot with time expiring where you saw in slow motion replay him turn around, double teamed, check the shot clock, and then hoist the deciding bucket. Classic.

I've been a Wolves fan ever since, for better of for worse. As this season got underway I was cautiously optimistic as my man crush on Darko had hit unfathomable heights, and I was certain Beasely would bring a different dimension this team hasn't seen before. That led me to purchasing some sexy lower level seats for my younger brother for Christmas, which then led to him convincing me to go in on a 10-game pack of tickets for the rest of the spring. All together, that put us in Target Center Monday night as the Wolves faced the Houston Rockets for our first of 11 games this season, and my first game recap from a guy who writes about football ...



- It's no "Sirius" entrance, but I still kind of dig the Wolves opening sequence. If they ever played a meaningful game at home, I vote for them extending the black out moon scene and howling to a full minute to let the fans work themselves into a fervor before the screens flash wolves eyes quickly, followed by Kevin Love's sexy squint as well. Place would ERUPT.

- Johnny Flynn is so terrible, and even worse in person. He was solely responsible for three straight possessions in the second quarter where he flailed his arms like robot Danger Robinson during pass attempts and refused to slow down a possession to gather himself and the offense to score a bucket. Did he injure his brain this offseason too?

- The cheerleaders are regulated to dancing in the alleyways leading to the locker rooms on both ends of the court for the first three periods. Are you serious? They have to be the most entertaining part of this team right now. They didn't even dance on the court until the fourth quarter when half of the 1,000 people in the crowd had already left. It's like they are gutter trash, and I say that is NOT acceptable for such scantily clad ladies!

- I can't make sense of Kurt Rambis' rotations. What other team in the league doesn't play theirs starters start minutes? Is this some sort of zen thing that is clearly above me? He must be so wise ...

- I would love to sit behind the benches to hear what Love has to say to Rambis every time he comes over. "What are we doing, seriously? Are we going to try this game or no? Want to put me back in so we can win? Trying to rest me for the All Star Game? Awesome, thanks Kurt."

- The half time show was 10 minutes of these foreign (Korean? Laos?) dancers that showed more movement than anything my brother or I saw on offense in the first half. Also, maybe it's my delicate sensibilities but I sure did find the guy dressed in pink running around with a fan and a ladies mask kind of racist. Also, funny.

- The worst part about this team is that you can, without trouble, call exactly what the other team will do as soon as the Wolves start to gain momentum. Oh, a little 6-0 run? Check out this upcoming three pointer! Uh oh, got their lead almost down to single digits. Maybe there will be a four point play attempt? It's more predictable than the crowd's disinterest.

- What's the deal with Mike Rylander? He was working the crowd Monday night like he was trying to get fired. I wonder what he gets paid. I'd totally do his job for whatever he's making. Go to Wolves games, wear dirty jeans and a sweatshirt at your job? OK! You better pick your game up, Mike. Give me Natalie Kaene any day of the week instead.

- The most exciting part of the Timberwolves is clearly Kevin Love, and it's pretty wild just to watch him in person. His spot up three pointers were solid, and we kept ourselves most entertained by counting his way towards his 30th consecutive double-double. He almost had a triple double in fact, and by season end could lead the team in points, rebounds, assists, and exasperated hands in the air.

- We ate at O'Donavan's before the game and it was horrible. I need more suggestions as I have 10 more treks downtown.

- 129 - 125 is a stupid basketball score. Also, one I closely predicted.

- I would also like to implement a rule that says ever player has to pass at least once (maybe even twice) every time they go down the court on offense. No questions about it. Every time they pass, something good happens. Unless it's Flynn handling the rock, then it's a turnover.



That's it for now. We had fun even though it was an ugly game. Our next outing will be Saturday against the Raptors. That could get ugly as well.

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